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How to be a successful freelance photographer

November 7th, 2020

For someone who is not about the typical 9 – 5 job, freelancing is an intriguing career choice. Over the years, freelancing has gotten very popular. Many are even making quite a good living through freelancing. Success in freelancing requires patience, a strong will, and a drive to be better. You need to be persistent in your craft and see it through. However, you cannot only be in it for money. You truly have to love the craft and, with enough dedication, the money will come. Freelancing allows you to set your working hours and work however you want. Freelance photography is a growing field, and you can actually earn money here. This article will outline all you need to about how to be a successful and earn top dollar.

So, let us get started!

1. Buy Professional Equipment:

Given you have not already done this yet, you need to get your hands on some professional equipment first to get it started – that is a no brainer, isn’t it? This of course applies only if you are just starting to get into photography and would want to make money. If you have been in the photography field for some time and are just now starting to think about making top dollars, you should have the equipment already. There is absolutely no reason to go overboard with your camera, though. You are not landing celebrity clients, not just yet anyway. So, for beginners, a reasonably good quality camera will do.

2. Create a memorable personal brand:

Brand value in the world of freelance is very important to get recognized and attract more clients. You can start with a memorable new logo and a name for your freelance business.
It does not have to be a company. You can treat yourself as a brand itself – the work here is that you have to build it. A personalized brand is a person behind the name. Have a killer online presence. Get yourself an impressive website. This is where your previous work will live for the world to see your talents, and the pictures here basically work as a pitch as to why people should hire you. If the quality of work is impressive, clients will come to you. This will be your online portfolio – portfolios are crucial for getting more work.

3. Search for gigs:

You need to be searching for gigs. These gigs will get your foot in the door in the world of freelance photography. Many photographers initially struggle with getting their first client. Most of the time, that is because they are looking in the wrong places. Initially, you can target small and scale your business as you go. Why not approach family members and friends for photoshoots in events? You could do a wedding or a baby shower. This also gives you a great chance to have more of a portfolio.

4. Add value through other channels:

You can create content on photography for others to read and share. You can blog about photography or create a YouTube channel to talk about photography. These channels also help build your credibility for your photography skills and brand. If all things go well, you can even make extra money blogging or creating videos.

5. Start selling stock photos:

A great way to start making some initial money is by selling stock photos. Not only does stock photography bring in recurring revenue whenever someone licenses it from you, but you maintain the rights to those photos too. You have two options in going about with this: either license them on your site or use a stock photo site and sell your photos there. You instantly have a higher chance of making money.

6. Collab with top influencers:

Popular influencers can really get things moving for you, given they mention your name, give you a shoutout. You can do a collaboration with them to make it a win-win situation with them. Have a crazy idea surrounding photography? Why not reach out to some influencers and see if they would want to collaborate with you? Approach them professionally and also make sure you properly display your skills for collaboration. Take this advice to heart – when talking about how to be a successful photographer and earn top dollar, being around the right influencers can help you tremendously and attract a lot of initial clients to help build your brand.

7. Get social:

This ties in with number 4. Leverage social media to reach a wider audience. Making yourself visible is a sure-fire way to keep attracting new clients and sometimes even very large gigs along the line. You can create engaging content on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

8. Scale-up as you grow:

Once you are getting some traction initially, you can venture into more areas to make some top dollar. You can start approaching local businesses and offer to do photoshoots for their websites or even local businesses and offer product photography. A very profitable segment is wedding photography as well.

9. Your finances are important:

You must treat your freelance photography as a business, and just like any business, managing finances is crucial. You will need to manage money in terms of where you spend in – expensive equipment or a studio if required.

10. Become a better photographer:

Last but certainly not least, hone and improve your skills. Maybe do a certified course. As you improve your skills, your craft will automatically get better and attract more people to pay for your work.

Conclusion: Freelance photography is a great way to earn extra money, but you need to be patient, consistent, and persistent. These tips about how to become a successful freelancer and earn top dollar should get you started with some solid and effective strategies for earning money.